It’s good to have frost. It wipes out fungal diseases and keeps aphids in check, so I hope that we have lots of crisp, sharp days of winter to come – but no snow! This autumn and early winter has been beautiful gardening weather with the soil only now feeling clammy and cold.
The walled garden has its winter clothes on, with everything being bare and planted up now ready for spring. The big bench has been put under cover and the hens are in the greenhouses keeping warm and enjoying the winter sun.
Now is a time of organising, tidying, rose-pruning, gravel-raking and thinking about what annuals to grow in the spring from seed. The soil is best left alone as it will only cause mud and compaction.
Earlier in the year in August, I was interviewed by the Guardian about the factory’s walled garden. You can read the interview here.
I have been busy with wreath making, and had a great time last weekend teaching lots of lovely attendees how to make wreaths at the first ever Emma Bridgewater wreath workshops at the factory. Peacock feathers are very much in vogue now!
The week of Christmas traditionally sees me going to the flower market to buy a bunch of amaryllis as a treat. These huge flowers are in fact native to the high Andean mountains. I like to mix them with the stems of gathered silver birch in a big vase – the best arrangements are big and often simple.
Wishing all readers, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year
With best wishes Arthur Parkinson
– the garden will reopen in March when I will begin writing garden blogs for 2017!